One Dimensional or Multi-Faceted

By: Marcy Barthelette

How do you see God? I ask again, how do you see God?  

Each of us has an image of God stored in our minds and those images are likely as different as there are people to imagine them. A child, for instance, may see him as a grizzled old man with a very long beard. After all, he’s been around a long time so he must be really old and wrinkled. But they also imagine him with a smiling face and a broad lap to sit on. In fact, He may look a little like the Santa they dream of at Christmas. Ask a dozen kids and you’ll get a dozen descriptions. I can envision a child stretching arms wide and saying, “God is this big!” From a child’s perspective, most things look big, so it stands to reason that a God who does all the things that children are told He does must be gigantic. They can create an image of a loving old man living high above them in the heavens who loves and protects them. And they really see it. They believe much more readily than adults.

As we “mature” we complicate our vision of everything. Our human power of reasoning kicks in and we question whether or not God really exists. After all, no one can scientifically be everywhere at the same time or have the patience to listen to each of us individually pouring out our hearts to Him. No one can scientifically reach down and touch a body to cure it. And, certainly, no father would sacrifice his own son in redemption for us. And no son would volunteer for that duty. It’s all just a lovely myth that makes us feel protected. All the miracles in the Bible can be explained away by the facts rolling around in man’s scientific brain. Really?

Ken has a riddle he likes to pass around to people who might need to hear a message for the first time or hear it again, as we all need to do periodically or maybe daily. It asks:

What is greater than God, more evil than the devil, the rich need it, the poor have it and if you eat it you will die?

Now, I wouldn’t want to make you self-conscious about your ability to answer but, let me tell you that the majority of kindergartners figure it out immediately. That’s because kids see things in simple terms first. We’ve all seen them raise their hands anxiously when the teacher asks a question. They want to be first, but their minds only grasp the first few words of the question in their rush to be called upon. And, in their minds, the answer to the first part of the question is simple. Are you following me?

Then he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3

As they grow, children will be exposed to the devil’s side of life. They may become filthy rich or poor as church mice. One thing they will all have in common is that they will need to eat. Most will likely be ordinary folks living ordinary lives. Now, how can we become as children and see God through their eyes?

There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus. Blaise Pascal

We need to throw away our pretensions, our perceptions of how we attain success, our need to have so many “things” and to be better than our neighbors. When we’ve stripped our hearts and minds of all the clutter, we’ll be able to see the evidence of God all around us. What artist could possibly paint a more awe-inspiring sunrise or sunset? What creator could conceive of the complexity in a tiny blossom, yet imagine a mighty snow-clad mountain into existence? What kind of Father would create man already knowing that his best creation would need to be saved from his own sinfulness by the sacrifice of the Father’s one and only Son?

Unfortunately, we are too often blinded by the glitter offered to us by the devil who always tries to perch on our shoulders. When we stop to think like a child and throw away all the distractions, we will truly see God in all the wonders He has created and for all the mighty works He has accomplished. To the young mind, God may be one-dimensional. As we grow into God’s love, we begin to realize that He is truly multi-faceted. He is unquestionably able to do everything that science says He can’t. And He freely shares all of His many creations with us. Most importantly, He shares His son. We don’t deserve it but the truth is right before us if we will only search. And this Christmas, I hope you will search and find Him in the face of a tiny baby. The world didn’t have room for Him then…will you make room for Him now?

It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas when its mighty Founder was a child himself. Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

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